Hero Worship

Hero Worship

My big brother Harry was something: Leave the crude undamaged beneath the sea, he said, sold his car, and even refused for a time to ride in cars. (Later, he lived in a car.) Immediately after college, Harry changed his name to Harrison Redwood, moved north, and chained himself to an old growth redwood. There was an article about him in The Seattle Times under the headline “Defender of Trees.” The camera loved him. 

But none of that actually happened. In reality, Harry never finished high school. He died of a rare blood disease when he was eleven. Still, I can remember an earlier time when Harry told Miss Beitler, his fourth grade teacher, (and this part is true) that he used to have another brother named Mr. BlueWhite, who died and was buried upside down under a redwood, his feet sticking up through the grass, one blue shoe, one white. Unfortunately, this is not true either; I am an only child.